Uruguay signs $1.65 billion in offshore exploration deals

10/7/2012

Uruguay signs $1.65 billion in offshore exploration deals

BY TAOS TURNER

UruguayBlocks.jpg

MONTEVIDEO -- Uruguay's government has signed offshore exploration deals with four oil and gas companies that have committed to invest $1.65 billion over the next three years.

The companies include BP, BG, Total, and Ireland's Tullow Oil. They will join Uruguay's state-owned energy company, Ancap, to explore in eight offshore blocks, according to a statement on the Uruguay president's website.

The blocks are located in waters that range from 500 m to 2,500 m deep. BP and BG will each explore three blocks, while Total will explore one and Tullow another.

"This is the most significant event in the search for energy resources in recent years," Industry, Energy and Mining Minister Roberto Kreimerman said in the statement.

Mr. Kreimerman said the projects aim to diversify Uruguay's energy matrix. "We have the chance for a country that is not an oil producer to have new wealth through this exploratory work, which will be done over the next three years, as well as the exploitation that follows," he said.

Mr. Kreimerman expects the drilling work to begin in mid-2013. He also said that by 2015 half of Uruguay's energy matrix will come from renewable energy.

Dow Jones Newswires

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